Health: A group of Danish doctors were in the capital for a course in travel medicine. The doctors learned about the diseases that are common in Bhutan.

The course is expected to help the participants provide health advice to tourists travelling to Bhutan. The training, which was held from April 17 to 24, was the fourth of its kind held in Bhutan.

One of the organisors, Dr Tandin Dorji, said tourists often experience altitude sickness in Bhutan. The participants also learned about food safety and the Buddhist approach towards treatment of diseases.

“Tourism is the second largest industry in the country. It’s time we regulated the use of medical facilities by tourists,” Dr Tandin Dorji said. He added that tourists are willing to pay for medical services in Bhutan. “But we don’t have such a system in place.”

Dr Tandin Dorji said that there is a need to regulate travel medicine for revenue and convenience of tourists. “People from outside Bhutan do not know much about medical risks in Bhutan…Some tourists carry diseases back home.”

Bhutanese doctors from the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences trained the participants. “It was a good opportunity for our doctors to train foreign doctors,” said Dr Tandin Dorji.

Dr Bjorn Melgaard, one of the participants, said it is important for travellers to know about the prevalence of diseases in Bhutan. “We will advise travellers about health risks [in Bhutan]… This will help them come prepared.”

The medical team also visited hospitals in Punakha and Thimphu.

“We visited the hospitals to learn about the prevalence of diseases and see the medical facilities,” said Dr Bjorn Melgaard.

MB Subba